Believe it or not, a garage can tell you quite a bit about the homeowner. As you stroll through your Northern Virginia neighborhood and pass an open garage door you can immediately tell who has a handle on organization—and who doesn’t. The best garage interiors incorporate clever garage storage ideas and are obviously custom designed—cabinetry, shelving, every tool in place, overhead storage. A garage like that makes a bold statement. On the other hand, there are some garage doors best left closed.
According to Lifehack, there are 10 habits of really organized people. One of these is particularly germane to garage organization: give everything a home. We’ve taken that idea to heart in recommending these clever garage storage ideas to bring greater organization to your garage and your life.
#1 Start at the Top With Overhead Racks
Many garages have ample overhead space. It’s rare for builders to completely finish that space, but that gives you the opportunity to optimally arrange overhead racks to organize storage. Overhead racks may be one of the smartest means of improving garage organization. Their strength and flexibility can accommodate long or odd-shaped items like lumber (if your garage also serves as your workshop), ladders, stackable plastic storage bins, garden equipment, luggage, and coolers. If you’re in need of floor space, relocating those items to overhead racks can free up that space. A well-designed garage organization system using overhead racks can significantly increase your garage storage capacity.
#2 Don’t Stack Those Boxes!
If “stacks of boxes” aptly describes your garage organization, you and the items in those boxes deserve better. Swap out the boxes for durable bins available in a wide range of sizes. Label the bins. And even though many of the bin designs are stackable, the smarter way to organize those bins is to place them on heavy duty steel shelves. That way you’ll be able to immediately access what you need; frequently used items at eye level, lesser used items on lower or higher shelves, strong shelves that can handle any load. No need to unstack and restack to get what you need in the bottom box (that is likely collapsing from the weight of the four or five boxes on top of it). More importantly, your items are better protected in comparison to the less-than-ideal cardboard box storage.
#3 Use Cabinetry to Protect and to Hide (the Clutter)
Nothing speaks to the fine finish and organization of a remodeled garage like custom cabinetry. There’s no better location for power tools, fine woodworking equipment, household hardware, painting supplies, car care products, and the multitude of small items you need to keep your home and vehicles in top shape. Cabinets protect tools and supplies from humidity and dust while keeping clutter out of sight. Adjustable shelves let you easily arrange and rearrange items as your garage storage needs change. Well-designed cabinets have adjustable legs to ensure upright alignment on uneven garage floors The legs also elevate the cabinet above the floor to protect from accidental leaks or spills that could potentially ruin cabinetry and their lower shelf contents.
#4 Save Space With Bike Hooks
Northern Virginia has superb biking routes and trails for anyone who enjoys cycling. And if you do, you probably have different bikes—road, mountain, commuter, and maybe an e-bike—to enjoy the variety of cycling experiences. There’s no need to compromise bicycle storage and convenience. Vertical bike hooks and horizontal bike racks save space, protect your bikes, and make it easy for you to access the bike of your choice. And all the accessories you need to keep bicycles in good shape—floor pump, tires, extra tubes, WD-40—can be stored conveniently on a cabinet shelf.
#5 Smart Ideas for All the Other Spaces
Your garage is probably the largest contiguous space in your home. Overhead racks significantly increase storage space, cabinetry adds a fine finish to the garage interior, steel storage shelves bring convenient organization for containers, and bicycle racks give you more floor space while making any of your bikes easily accessible.
Those are the major components of a garage organization system, but we haven’t exhausted all the clever garage storage options that could help upgrade your organization. Double hooks, J hooks, and loop hooks are ideal for garden tools that don’t neatly fit in bins or shelves. Tool racks above your workbench keep frequently-used tools at hand. And for sundry items like protective goggles, hearing protection, shop towels, gloves, tape, and glue, strong metal baskets are the ideal solution. A metal basket is also ideal for storing the bicycle items you use on every ride—helmet, gloves, water bottle, and shoes.
Closet Organization & Clever Garage Storage
We often recommend that homeowners organize their closets according to the season. Make the seasonal clothes and accessories easily accessible. Place out-of-season items on high shelves or store away in underutilized areas of your home. We offer the same advice for garages. During the summer keep water sports equipment—skis, wakeboards, inflatables, life vests—in easy reach. In the winter, swap them out for snowboards, skis, poles, boots, sleds, shovels, and holiday decorations. And if you find there are seasonal items you haven’t used in a long while, find them a new home.
Clever Garage Storage Starts With Custom Design
Each of the components and ideas mentioned above has an innate capability to upgrade the organization of your garage. But it’s more than just a matter of purchasing and installing them. Good design and attention to detail are critical to realizing the full potential of your garage, especially if your garage also serves as a workshop or creative space. Follow the guidance of Charles Eames, lauded American designer who observed: “The details are not the details, they make the design.” A custom design for your garage will incorporate all the details to optimize storage space while seriously upgrading your organization.
Let The Experts Do All of the Hard Work
If you’re contemplating a garage renovation or remodeling project, our professionals have the expertise to transform your garage into space uniquely designed to meet your needs. Schedule a free consultation Our designers will meet with you to discuss your ideas and recommend an optimum design. In most cases, a 3D interactive model of your garage can be developed during the consultation. We are proud of the quality and workmanship we invest in transforming ideas into reality.
Lead image source: Unsplash user Kevin Wolf